Nolan Ryan Believes in the Rangers; Curt Schilling Doesn't. You?

Saw former playoff standout pitcher Curt Schilling on some ESPN baseball preview this morning and he said -- I'm paraphrasing -- no way in hell the Texas Rangers repeat as American League West Division champs, much less AL champs.

Repeating is tough, as no AL team since the 2001 New York Yankees has won consecutive pennants. There are more than a couple of dorks out there who think the Rangers may even be a one-hit wonder.

As I've detailed, the pitching staff has me worried. No Cliff Lee. No depth. Counting on Brandon Webb. The inclusion of Mason Tobin.

The offense will have to carry this team, and it just might be good enough to do that with the addition of Adrian Beltre hopefully making up for the departure of Vladimir Guerrero.

Ready or not, the metroplex is excited about the season. Friday's 3 p.m. opener is a sellout, only standing room remained for Saturday and about 3,000 tickets are available to Sunday's series finale against the Boston Red Sox.

As for Nolan Ryan crystal baseball ...

"Last year, I said we were capable of winning," Ryan said before last night's exhibition loss to the AAA Round Rock Express. "This year I expect us to win. I'm a believer in being honest and this year we are positioned better to win than we were a year ago."

In the middle of Major League Baseball's Opening Day and on the eve of Texas' first ever opener as the hunted, how do you guys feel about the 2011 Rangers?


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